“Log kya kaheinge.”
We all have heard that at least 93482935823 times in our lifetime. It is THE inevitable death sentence every judgemental Pakistani has tattooed on their entitled gluteus maximus. Fatima Haroon and her journey cover exactly how to not give a single thought about the opinions of others and make the best of your talent, dreams, and perseverance.
Fatima Haroon is a 24-year-old photographer and globetrotter.
Fatima was born in Karachi and currently resides in Islamabad, but travels to NYC, London, Dubai, etc for work. She went to school at St. Joseph’s Convent School in Karachi. She would study day and night but was unable to meet the academic expectations of those around her, which led to her failing the eighth grade. She was ridiculed and people made claims such as that she will never make it big in life or get into commendable universities.
At 15, she found her true passion.
Fatima realized she liked capturing moments and her mother purchased a DSLR for her to explore her talent. Even though her passion lay in photography, her parents wanted her to choose a more “respectable” career path.
Further, into the game, she made an observation that photography was most popular in mainstream media, at weddings, and in fashion. To gain experience, she started out small by doing photo shoots for family and family friends which eventually led her to cover big-name magazines/newspapers such as HELLO! Pakistan, Dawn, and Express Tribune.
Eventually, Fatography came into existence.
Fatima would work after school hours, and because her parents did not know, she went by the stage name Fatography. She was becoming a household name and was invited to speak at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI) at the age of 16. She did not take shortcuts or an escalator but went up the ladder of success with full determination.
Fatima realized she was battling depression at 18 years of age.
Even with her growing popularity, people’s taunts and her personal struggles had her contemplating the purpose of all her hard work and achievements. Fatima knew she was much more than the rejection and failure she was facing. She knew she was surrounded by more people who prayed for her success than those who were trying to pull her down.
Fatima took the initiative to come out of her depressive episodes and be progressive once again. Thus, interacting with the elderly and the homeless helped her overcome her depression and made her appreciate the beauty and blessing in everything.
Life had even more in store for Fatima.
Fatima was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia (a learning disability) at the age of 20, alongside a genetic disorder called Ankylosing Spondylitis (inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and large joints) at the age of 21. Regardless, she worked gruesome and endless hours to meet her goals. She did not let this affect her and did not allow anyone to take advantage of her weaknesses.
Despite her struggles, Fatima perservered.
She graduated from the University of Birkbeck in Psychology, Media Studies, and International Relations from London in 2012 and went on to complete her higher education at the University of the Arts, London in 2016.
She worked on major film and telefilm projects with directors such as Anjum Shahzad. Fatima also attended Cannes 2018 Film Festival with Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, and Deepika Padukone. One of her recent projects also includes a Bollywood film with actor Sidharth Malhotra.
Here she is, chilling with them.
Fatima says you need to realize your self-worth, take ownership of your mistakes, and refrain from playing the blame game.
Set goals for yourself and make an initiative to hustle and make those dreams come true. Challenge yourself and those who wrongly criticize your ambitions. The world is your oyster so make so take advantage of the opportunities it has to offer.
Thank you, Fatima, for being a testament to the same.
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